Intergenerational Effects of Residential Schools

December 10, 2021

Today, as many people are gaining a new understanding of the history of this land, including the history of what Indigenous Peoples have suffered, and of systemic injustice that lives on to this day, many are asking that question: what to do. What should we then do? Arising out of conversation with Indigenous people, here are a few possibilities:

Learn about the history of this land. Most of us know too little, and what we
think we know is what was told to us through a particular lens. It is time we
start looking at that history from an Indigenous perspective;


be alert to the ways in which racist attitudes are embedded in our culture, our
communities, and our way of seeing things, and pray for the grace to listen to
Indigenous people, and to their past and present experience, with an open
heart;


learn more about Indigenous culture and ways; there is a richness there that
can help us become more human, more in touch with creation and better able
to live well in a sustainable way on this land; and when invited, accept
invitations to learn more about Indigenous spiritual traditions and sacred
ways;


get to know the TRC’s Calls to Action addressed to the churches, and its
principles of reconciliation, and discern what you might do to engage with
those;


learn more about where systemic change is needed in our society, in terms of
education, access to health and to clean water, in restorative justice, in
constructive response to those experiencing trauma and intergenerational
trauma, in treaty rights and responsibilities, and in addressing the needs of
Indigenous youth. Be an ally in the pursuit of justice and right relations;


respond generously when the Church gives us the opportunity to make a
financial contribution to healing and reconciliation in Indigenous-led ways;
ponder and enter into conversation, wherever possible with Indigenous
people, about what the Church and Indigenous Peoples walking together in a
good way would look like; heed the words from Indigenous people, “nothing
about us without us”; learn to walk not in front, not behind, but together.